Marie Claire (Malaysia) : 2020-05-01

Local Report : 47 : 45

Local Report

An amazing frontliner, fighting for the well being of others Dr Sangeetha Siniah, a Paediatric­ian and a Paediatric Infectious Disease and Immunology Fellow, working at Hospital Tunku Azizah, Women and children Hospital Kuala Lumpur Being in an infectious diseases (ID) speciality, we were already preparing for Covid-19 cases since January. However, once April started, the cases increased drasticall­y, and we saw a surge of patients and our workload doubled. My role as an ID paediatric­ian is to screen and plan admissions for all children referred in for Covid-19, from the whole of Kuala Lumpur and sometimes even in Selangor. And since we are the only hospital that offers paediatric intensive care in the entire Klang Valley for Covid-19, we often receive ill children. The good thing about us here in Malaysia is we have been preparing for this.We are lucky we have excellent teamwork from all levels of healthcare workers (HCW) in this time of crisis (even sewing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) ), along with a very efficient Ministry of Health backing us. I do recall one of the toughest moments I had endured was when I had to do on-calls for a few days in a stretch, and I couldn't be home to put my kids to sleep. I had to explain to my curious 4 year old why I had to work while everyone else was at home. After explaining, he now knows a lot about the virus, and understand­s better on why I need to work hard to help other children, and this helps with their anxiety as well. When I'm at home I still try to do my usual routine. I am an avid Crossfitte­r, and despite the movement control order, I follow the home workouts designed by my Crossfit Lah box, and I would include the kids in my routine, and this becomes our fun activity for the day. In times of crisis or whilst working hard, it is easy to forget the other aspects of life. I make sure I dedicate at least half an hour to just talk to my spouse, my family and loved ones. I believe Covid-19 will be a marathon, so pacing ourselves would be utmost important in the long run. Many things are going to be the new normal (social distancing, virtual classrooms and telemedici­ne). Some people do not embrace change very well, however, we need to slowly adapt ourselves. And because my specialty includes the care of children, I hope the society would look into what the impact of Covid-19 will have on them, either in the short or long term (ie kids displaced from homes, special needs children and those with low immunity). Someone had told me one day that my grandchild­ren would ask me about the Covid-19 pandemic, and would proudly tell them the story of the courage and bravery of the doctors who were frontliner­s, which would include their grandmothe­r. Taking staying at home seriously to flatten the curve Shafina binti Elias, Senior Executive, Business Developmen­t & Strategy, Commercial Services, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd The coronaviru­s is changing how we live our daily lives. On a personal level, the pandemic has been affecting mine drasticall­y. Before Covid-19, my daily schedule would usually entail of constant travels between work and home, running around between meetings whilst fulfilling my part-time job as an AIA Insurance Agent. It keeps me busy for as long as I can remember, but I love every minute of it! Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate and support my government’s initiation­s to flatten the curve, but there is nothing exciting for me to look forward to. Workload just keeps piling up on top of my daily responsibi­lities. As an employee, I need to ensure that I would remain relevant to the company during this tough time. I need to amp my game up by improving productivi­ty and remaining focused and positive at the same time. Social distancing has impacted me severely on an internal level. My anxiety has risen up higher than ever, taking a major toll on me, both emotionall­y and physically. I can no longer distress myself by hiking at Taman Tugu on the weekend like I used to, or hang out with my friends for some good laughter when the going gets tough. I feel like some parts of me are missing and it is hard to cope with my current routine. Of course not everything is completely shattered. Honestly, this experience has been a bitterswee­t moment for me. With the current Working From Home policy, I am able to spend 30 minutes of my day, without fail, to exercise after my morning prayers. When usually, it only happens every once a week, if I’m not tired. I am also able to be experiment­al with recipes and curate healthy meals for myself. Everyday, I try my very best to be creative in everything that I do, especially when it’s about work. I know that there is no certainty of when the pandemic will end. I can only continue to pray for better days. I am grateful for everything that I have. 45 May 2020 MARIECLAIR­E.COM.MY

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